We sat down with Chrissy Lourey, Marketing Coordinator here at Sharp & Carter to discuss what Pride Month means to her.
How do you personally define and celebrate Pride Month?
For myself and my partner we mainly define Pride Month as a time of inclusion and acceptance. There is a joy in the community during Pride Month where we all feel connected. It’s like an unspoken way we all feel banded together. Times like these where we are given purposeful time to reflect is beautiful.
Are there any specific challenges or issues that you feel the LGBTQ+ community still faces today?
The biggest issue I find for myself and my partner is the fact that when we go to Europe this year there will be lots of places where we won’t be able to hold hands or show each other affection because of safety issues. Even though issues like that aren’t hugely prevalent in places like Australia there are still many times my partner and I will stop acting like a ‘couple’ if a certain group of men or strangers walk past.
It's scary to think that even in 2023 it’s easier to pretend to be friends for our safety than be able to be a couple everywhere we go.
How has your own journey of self-acceptance shaped your experiences as an LGBTQ+ individual?
I feel very lucky to be born in a time where going on a journey of self-discovery is often encouraged and supported. This was certainly the case for me. During the iconic year that was 2020 I had a lot of time to sit with myself and look deeper into who I am and what I want. I felt that because 2020 was almost a write off, there was no pressure to be or do anything. I could literally just do whatever I wanted that felt good for that moment. For me that was exploring my sexuality and looking into a deeper message that had always been inside me.
I was lucky enough to meet my partner in 2020 and I have been with her ever since. She has helped me to grow into the person I was always meant to be and has helped me to define what being queer means to me. I have always felt very grounded in who I am, so this part of me just feels like an amazing add on to my life journey.
In what ways do you engage with or support the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month and throughout the year?
I always try to be a safe place for anyone to come to when they are starting on their own journey or simply wanting to chat. I make a lot of effort to make people I’m talking to feel heard and seen. When I meet queer people, especially people living experiences I am not familiar with such as trans experiences, I try to take extra time to learn, listen and respect their wishes.
What is something you feel S&C can do to contribute positively to supporting Pride Month / LGBTQ+ individuals?
A big thing I feel that can be immediately implemented at S&C is understanding the unconscious bias that we all have that everyone is heterosexual. Or thinking heterosexuality is the status quo and anything from that is a deviation from the ‘normal’.
Going into any conversation where you are learning about their partner/relationship, make an effort to not say ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ when asking and instead let the other person tell you who their partner is, rather than them having to do the awkward thing of correcting a mistake.
I also think an easy thing to do is if you have anyone in your life in the queer space, ask them how they are and if they are dealing with any prejudice or hardships in their workplace, friendship group or family. Coming to people who are not queer about issues in the queer world is really hard, so by coming to them first and checking in, it begins a dialogue of support much more easily.
To learn more about Pride Month and events you can attend head here: